The Shelter Stirling Advice + project is funded by Stirling Council and is available to anyone who is affected by welfare reform. We aim to prevent homelessness, improve financial capability and resilience by providing early intervention when financial difficulties are becoming apparent.
How we do it
If you live in the Stirling area and you need to resolve any money, debt or benefit issues, our free confidential service can give you the advice and support you need. We will work on a one to one basis to support you through welfare reform changes, address financial pressures to ensure that you can stay in your home wherever possible.
We provide free confidential, impartial advice on issues such as:
- Money and debt
- Income maximisation
- Rent arrears
- Advice and support on benefits and sanctions.
Shelter Scotland will provide expert impartial advice on housing, money, debt and benefit issues. Where there is a need for more specialised help we will help you identify and access this.
The Shelter Stirling Advice+ Project operates from the Stirling Advice Partnership premises in the centre of Stirling town and is funded through Stirling Council. The Project works with a number of statutory and third sector partners in the delivery of its services, for example working with the Salvation Army in providing outreach sessions in the Raploch area of Stirling on a fortnightly basis.
A client's story
The client was referred from partner organisation that the project has established an excellent working relationship with. The client required one-to-one support as he has ongoing addiction and mental health issues.
The SMDA (Senior Money & Debt Adviser) made contact with the client and arranged to meet with him at the outreach clinic that she runs on a fortnightly basis. The client had very low mood and self-esteem. His main goal was getting back on a rehabilitation programme for drug use. The SMDA discussed the client's benefits as she was aware that his money was being paid into an ex-girlfriends account from previous conversations with the referrer. This had now been resolved and the client's money was now being paid into the client's brother's bank account. The client held the bank card for the account and was happy with this arrangement, and the adviser will discuss this further with the client once all other issues are resolved.
The client had been living in his property for months with no gas as there was a problem with his meter, he had already had the council engineer out to check his boiler and there was nothing wrong with it. The SMDA explained to the client how service charges are allocated to the meter. She contacted the supplier to arrange for the service charges on the meter that were outstanding as a debt to be transferred as an arrear and recovered at the lowest rate. A call back was arranged with the client for the same day as the energy company required information from the client's meter. The client now has gas in his property which has resulted in heating and hot water. The arrears are being recovered at the lowest rate possible.
The SMDA discussed with the client how he was managing with his money as he recently has a crisis grant, the client had no money left until his next benefit payment. The client had been living off crisps and sweets as he had no money to purchase proper food. SMDA referred the client to the foodbank for six weeks.
The client's mental state was also affected because he has a son and at the moment he doesn't want to bring him into his property because he doesn't feel it is up to standard. The client went on to explain that he basically had no crockery, pots/pans, bed for his son, bedding and he felt very embarrassed. The SMDA arranged to visit the property to go through what was needed.
The SMDA made contact with Start Up Stirling regarding the client's current situation and managed to obtain a large number of basic items for the client’s house. This included crockery, pots, pans, rugs, canvas prints, bedding, cushions and cutlery. The client was absolutely delighted with the donation from Start Up Stirling.
The SMDA visited the clients property and applied to the Scottish Welfare Fund for the following:
- hall carpet
- vinyl flooring for the bathroom
- cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine
single and double bed plus bedding
A special uplift was also arranged as it was identified that there would be a substantial amount of rubbish. The grant was awarded for all the items that were requested.
Further work will still be required with this client to set up his own bank account now that the emergency issues have been dealt with. The client has now started his rehabilitation programme.